There are many theories about the causes of colic, but this distressing condition might me caused by food in some cases. About one in five babies suffers from colic during the first months of life. Colicky babies have gas and cry for long periods, usually in the evening—and nothing their concerned parents do seems to help.
For bottle-fed babies, switching from cow’s milk formula to breastfeeding or to a soy-based formula may takes care of the baby’s discomfort. For breastfed babies, the problem may be in the mother’s diet. Previously, it was believed that animal proteins could not end up in breast milk because they were completely broken down in the digestive tract. But we now know that surprisingly large protein molecules—including dairy proteins—pass from the digestive tract into the blood and can reach the nursing baby. A survey of 272 breast-feeding mothers showed that many babies became colicky when their mothers ate certain foods. These foods were the most likely to cause problems:
- cow’s milk
- cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage
If your baby is colicky, simply avoid these foods during the first four months of breast-feeding.